For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (II Corinthians 4:6-7)
As we saw in the last post, all human beings are born spiritually blind because we are born with a sinful nature that will not accept the things of God and because Satan, God’s great enemy, blinds the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel. But God miraculously gave us light which shone out of darkness and our hearts were enlightened to the truth of the gospel. A miracle occurred.
What is this miracle? It is the miracle of the new birth. When life and light come into our hearts, we were born again. This new birth is the implantation of a new spiritual principle into our lives from which all the other spiritual graces flow. It is a new birth which we call regeneration.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5)
God effectually calls us. His call is effectual in that it has His power attached to it. And then God causes us to be born again. The light blasts through the darkness and spiritual death into our hearts. Then we are enabled to see and understand. We then have the light of the glory of God. We come face to face with Jesus who loved us so much that He gave His life for us. We are truly saved. We receive the gift of eternal life. And who makes all this possible? Who is the light and the life?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)
Jesus Christ is the source of the new life we have and of the light that shone through our dark, dead hearts. He is the life and He is the light. Over 700 years before the birth of Jesus, God gave a promise through the prophet Isaiah:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them a light shined. (Isaiah 9:2)
When Jesus began His public ministry, He quoted the words of Isaiah 9 (see: Matthew 4:13-17). It was then that He began to preach the gospel of His kingdom. This gospel, its light and life, is indeed a treasure. And this treasure is in jars of clay. We are the jars of clay, common and frail. But these jars contain the treasure of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God placed this treasure in us, the jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power that brought the treasure into our lives belongs to Him and not to us. The power that made our salvation possible in no way comes from us. But God commanded the light of the gospel to shine through our spiritual darkness into our hearts. Now we are truly alive spiritually and we are now able to see the face of Jesus in the light of the gospel. Yes, God’s treasure is in vessels of clay!
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